Elon Musk’s feud with Bob Iger spills over to Tesla

Elon Musk’s feud with Bob Iger spills over to Tesla

Rising tensions between X owner Elon Musk and The Walt Disney Company (DIS) CEO Bob Iger have convinced some Tesla (TSLA) drivers that Musk, who’s also the CEO of Tesla, has removed Disney+ from their vehicles out of spite.

Electrek, a news outlet covering electric vehicles, reported this week Tesla informed Disney it would remove its streaming service Disney+ for users who had not used the app before. Tesla didn’t give specific reasons for the change. Streaming services are included in a Tesla feature called Tesla Theatre accessible through the car’s touchscreen.

Some Tesla customers believe the sudden change is a result of Musk’s ongoing spat with Iger, a theory which has some basis. Musk has been taking shots at Iger in the last few weeks as a retaliation for Disney suspending advertising on X.

To recap, Musk and Iger both made appearances at the New York Times DealBook Summit in late November, where they were interviewed by Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin. The conference took place after Disney, along with several other major media companies, decided to pause advertising spending on Musk’s X, formerly Twitter.

The advertiser exodus seemed to be triggered by study published by media watchdog Media Matters in November showing that some of these companies’ ads were placed alongside pro-Nazi content on the social platform. Musk’s unwillingness to address growing hate speech on X is tied to his “free speech absolutist” stance, though he doesn’t always extend that view to his dissenters.

During his interview at the DealBook Summit, Iger was asked to address Disney’s decision to boycott X. “By him taking the position he took in a public manner, we felt that the association was not necessarily a positive one for us,” Iger said.

Musk reacted bitterly to Iger’s comments when he came onto the stage. “Go f*ck yourself, is that clear? Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience. That’s how I feel, don’t advertise,” Musk said when asked about advertisers leaving X.

Musk posted on X a week later that “Walt Disney is turning in his grave” over Iger’s leadership. Iger has not addressed Musk publicly since the DealBook Summit.

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